Giving God Your Worst
by Dianne Smith*
Author’s Note: This book is available in paperback from from the Heritage House. However, it may also be downloaded, reproduced, copied and distributed freely from this site. The only restriction is that it may not be sold for a profit. The author’s desire is to make the information freely available without cost to anyone who might benefit from it.
This booklet and all the blessings it brings are dedicated to my precious daughter. She has given me her permission to share this with women so they can know God’s love as she does. She harbors no bitterness and has a heart full of love and compassion. She has shown me grace and courage and that infinite wisdom that is found only in a child.
*All names have been changed
Chapter 1 – Joining The “Club”
“Welcome to the poor broken slob club” said my friend Karen, the sadness in her eyes belying what would have normally made us both laugh. “Now you will find out if your words really work.” Through my tears I managed a weak laugh. I knew what she meant. God had used me often to counsel and comfort young women as they grappled with their painful past; with hurts so deep and betrayals so enormous that healing seemed impossible. Karen had been one of those young women years before as she worked through the grief of her abortion and the betrayal of her baby’s father. She often jokingly referred to herself and women like her as “poor broken slobs.” Somehow I had been spared the “privilege” of being included in this elite club. I had loving parents and a “normal” upbringing. I married a wonderful man and had five great kids. While I had experienced the normal bumps and bruises of life, I had never really experienced anything terrible enough that I was totally undone – until then.
When Karen spoke these words, we were in route to Flagstaff to take my precious three year old daughter to the doctor. Not just any doctor but one who could knowledgeably examine a child who had been raped and molested. A few days before I had discovered that this had happened to Tiffany by a 12 year old neighbor boy, Peter. He was home-schooled and was therefore free to be a companion to Tiffany during the morning while we worked in our home based business. There were always adults around but somehow he had managed to molest her over a one week period. God knows how long it would have continued if I hadn’t casually asked her as I sometimes did, if anyone had ever “touched her privates.” When she responded in an embarrassed mumble that “Peter did,” our nightmare began. The police were called and after talking with her, they confirmed my worst fears. He had violated her in every way imaginable.
For the first time in my life I was faced with something that was so big, so horrible, so unthinkable that I couldn’t take it in. My emotions were tumbling over each other faster than I could identify them. I felt guilt, anger, betrayal, sadness, loss, failure, helplessness, a desire to die, a desire to kill, and overriding them all was hatred. I felt the seed of hatred plant itself firmly in my heart and begin to flourish.
As I dragged through the days and weeks I became more and more aware of my ability to hate. I had never had a target so real or a cause so worthy to give me complete license to hate. It was frightening to realize that I was capable of something this destructive and consuming. I saw myself in my mind’s eye as being suspended over a deep, black, bottomless abyss of hatred. I knew that if I gave way to the hatred that was taking root in my heart it would be like jumping into that bottomless abyss. And yet, as I thought about what this boy had done to my precious daughter I could not keep myself from falling. And so I prayed a desperate prayer, “God, PLEASE keep me from hating.” As I dangled over the abyss wanting to jump, God faithfully held me in His hands and did not allow me to fall.
I knew that Christians were not supposed to feel the way I was feeling. But even entertaining the more noble emotions of forgiveness, peace and joy, was out of the question. I had to deal with what I felt, not what I should be feeling. I had counseled enough “poor broken slobs” to know that, though my experience was different from theirs, the path to healing, forgiveness and peace was the same. I also knew that I was totally incapable of bringing any of it about. I could not change my heart. And yet, paradoxically, it was ultimately my choice. Karen’s statement, “Now you’ll find out if your words really work” referred to the path to victory that I had shared with so many others – the path of surrender.
Chapter 2 – Offering Our Worst To God
In talking with women over the years I have come to realize that many Christians, while well meaning, place a terrible yoke upon women. Often times this bondage comes from those in leadership positions within the church. Ministers need to keep their churches running smoothly. To do this, they need willing bodies. And so, unintentionally, they equate performance with spirituality. They challenge us to strive to become all that we can for God. Give God our best (which translates into attending church and singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, etc.) and we will be rewarded. But God doesn’t want our best – he wants our worst.
Making this statement may place me in the category with blasphemers and heretics. But, upon closer examination the Biblical truth of this statement stands. Let’s look at the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-gatherer. But to fully appreciate this parable, first you must know what each of these men stood for in Christ’s culture.
The Pharisees were priests who taught in the synagogue. They knew the laws laid down by Moses forward and backward. Along with the laws of Moses, the Pharisees created traditions and rituals of their own which they imposed upon the Jews. They themselves observed all the laws, traditions and rituals with passionate zeal. They often made a point of displaying their spirituality in public so everyone would take note that they were indeed holy men. To the average Jew the Pharisees were esteemed as “super spiritual.”
Just as the Pharisee represented all that was “religious” in the Jewish culture, the tax gatherer represented all that was despised. He was a traitor who collaborated with the Romans in order to get rich at the expense of his own countrymen. Most tax-gatherers not only collected what Rome required, but used extortion to collect extra for themselves. So despised were these men that in Jewish law they were treated as traitors and robbers; they could not testify in court, nor could their money be accepted by charities!
Speaking of these two men Christ said: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me, the sinner!’” Christ went on to say, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:10-14)
If I had been laying bets on who had God’s ear it would have been a sure thing for the Pharisee. He certainly had a great resume! But, as Jesus did so many times in his ministry, he made it very clear that performance without out a pure heart is worthless to God. The condition of our heart is what counts. It is so easy to point to these men of 2000 years ago and pass judgement. Yet, is it possible that we can become like the Pharisee in our service to God? I think without even realizing it, many of us do good works so we can come to God and, like the Pharisee, attempt to impress Him with our offerings while we shield our hearts from His touch.
Chapter 3 – Cleaning House
I liken our hearts to a house. On the outside it is beautiful. It is whitewashed to a sparkling brilliance. The boxes at the windows are overflowing with beautiful flowers. The gingerbread trim, neat brick walk and orderly yard make this house look picture perfect. Everyone who passes by admires it. Looking at it, you dream of living in this house. So one day you decide to sneak inside, sure that it is just as “perfect” inside as it is on the outside. But rather than being delighted, you are shocked and appalled at what you find. It is a shambles. The floor boards are rotted. The walls are filled with gaping holes. The ceiling is falling and the stench of rotting garbage is overwhelming.
Our hearts are often like this house. We look so good on the outside. We are involved in our women’s group at church. We sing in the choir and teach Sunday school. We respond dutifully when called upon for service. When the minister talks about “wretched sinners” we do a quick inventory of our performance and are relieved to find that we don’t fall in that category. Others tend to agree. We love (though we hate to admit it) to be alluded to as the exemplary Christian woman. The more we perform, the more we receive praise and the more we perform – all for God, of course. There’s only one problem. God doesn’t want or need any of the wonderful things we do. If our God can “raise up rocks to sing his praises”, Luke 19:40 do we really think we are indispensable to Him? Now I’ve said it! I can hear the harumphs, and see the backs stiffen. How dare I suggest that God doesn’t need or appreciate what you do for him! Please understand that I am not suggesting that God doesn’t use what we do. Or that what we do is not important to the church. But, God wants our heart first (the dirty inside not the spiffy outside) and then these other things will follow in their proper order.
This concept is dramatically illustrated in the Old Testament. In Psalms we find David praying to God for forgiveness for Uriah’s murder. He prayed, “For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, Oh God Thou will not despise.” Psalms 51:16 – 17 This is a most remarkable prayer. God Himself established rituals of sacrifice and burnt offerings to atone for a man’s sin. It was the only recognized way a man could receive forgiveness. And yet, here we find David, a man after God’s own heart, saying that sacrifice and burnt offerings were not pleasing to God. Look what David knew was pleasing to God – “a broken and a contrite heart.” Even under the Old Testament system of laws and rituals, David recognized that it was his heart that God was interested in. And remember, this prayer was not for some small infraction of the law – it was for murder!
What possible things could be in my heart that would be symbolized by “rotting floors” and “stinking garbage?”, you may wonder? This is where it gets a little painful. Most of us have lots of rot and garbage in our heart. We just never get up the courage or feel the need to examine it. Instead we simply apply another coat of paint to the outside of the house and hope nobody looks inside.
How many of us harbor bitter feelings toward someone? What about the hurt that someone caused that we can’t forgive? Or maybe we actually hate someone – but we feel justified because of the terrible thing they did to us. Other rot is more subtle – rather like dry rot in wood. How many of us women have itchy ears to hear something bad about someone we dislike? How many times have we heard the gossip prefaced with, “I really love her but…” And what about that theater of our mind where we enjoy rerunning over and over the scene where we exact revenge upon the person who hurt us? Or how about that area of weakness in ourselves that we are trying to conquer by our own might? We righteously point our finger at those with the same flaw hoping that by doing so ours will go unnoticed. These are a few examples of our “rotting floors” and “stinking garbage.” These are the things God wants us to give to Him. And these are the things we are so reluctant to give. In a perverse way we actually enjoy them. We are entitled to these feelings and it’s just not fair that we have to give them up!
You see, we fool ourselves into thinking we are really performing for God. We paint and shine the outside of our house but He is not impressed. Neither, however, is He surprised by what is inside our house. In fact, He knows every rotten feeling we have, every bitterness, every hatred and every vile thought. He knows them and He wants them. Like the tax-gatherer, when we come to Him declaring our wretchedness, He hears our prayer.
When I faced a situation where I was totally helpless to change my heart I had only one path open to me – to surrender. I could not fight to change my heart, I could not strive to change my heart nor could I struggle to change my heart. My heart wanted to hate. In the theater of my mind I shot that young man dead while his mother watched. I wanted to hurt her as much as her son had hurt my little girl. I enjoyed my mental revenge. Simply put, I was capable of murder! THIS IS WHAT I HAD TO OFFER GOD. I had to admit my inability to overcome any of these feelings. I was capable of doing only one thing with them – give them to God. My prayer was not, “help me forgive” – forgiving was not within me. My prayer was, “take my hatred and replace it with YOUR forgiveness.” God’s forgiveness is infinite and all encompassing.
Chapter 4 – Taking On The Devil
The message of surrender is not one that is heard very often. It involves dying to self. This is not a popular theme in this era of self-help, positive thinking and esteem building Christianity. Among these positive sounding solutions, surrender sounds – well – negative. But, in reality, in matters of the heart the only victory for a Christian is through surrender and dying to self.
How often are we admonished to STRIVE to be better Christians? Striving can change our outward behavior, true. But when we strive to change our heart one of two things happens. If we strive and succeed we become proud of our spiritual accomplishment. If we strive and fail (which is most always the case) we are self-condemning. In both instances self is at the center. But when we surrender, there is no victory for us – nor is there failure.
It is like being in a boxing ring with the devil. When we strive to overcome in matters of the heart, we attempt to do battle with the devil. Win or lose, we have fought the battle. We will bask in the victory or wallow in defeat. Either way, the devil wins because he knows that we did it in our flesh and our flesh is at enmity with the Spirit of God. We are the focus of our efforts – win or lose! However, when we surrender, we say to the devil, “You’re right, I can’t change my heart. I am too weak to fight you. Instead I surrender. But not to you. Rather, I surrender to Christ, my advocate, who will fight my battle for me.” All of a sudden, the odds shift. Satan is no match for Christ. As we surrender our worst to Christ it no longer becomes a tool of Satan to be used against us.
To illustrate this point, imagine when you were a child and you did something really bad. Your father knew you did it. He was just waiting for you to admit the truth. Finally, because the guilt was overwhelming, you went to your father and admitted to your bad deed. He wrapped his arms around you and said, “I already knew you did it. I was just waiting for you to tell me the truth so I could help you make it right.” Oh the relief when you realized that he knew all the time and he loved you anyway. Then along came your sister. She also knew what you had done and decided to get some personal benefit out of it. She tried to blackmail you with her knowledge. What freedom to look her in the eye and say, “Go ahead, I already told him and he still loves me and he made it right.” God KNOWS what is in our heart. The Bible makes this very clear in Hebrews 4:12 – 13 where it states, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” God knows every rotten thought, every hurt, insecurity, jealousy, hateful or prideful thought. He is just waiting for you to be honest with yourself and to give these burdens to Him. He will make it right.
Chapter 5 – I Can’t Forgive Myself
God has brought many post-abortion Christian women across my path. Often they find it difficult to heal from their pain and find forgiveness for their sin because of the attitude they encounter within the church! They know they killed their own child. But, others are uncomfortable with this admission. They make excuses. They offer cheap Christian cliches, assuring her that she is really a “good” person. But she doesn’t feel like a good person. She feels like a murderer. And she wants people to acknowledge it – not deny it or make excuses.
I remember one woman who called me. She was depressed and desperate. We started talking and it didn’t take her long to break down and tell me that she had had an abortion. She had killed her unborn baby and felt like a murderer. My response took her totally off guard. “Yes, I said, this is true. You did kill your baby.” Finally someone validated what she was feeling! She went on to tell me how she was a failure as a Christian. She knew God had forgiven her but she could NOT forgive herself. Her pastor had solidified this feeling of failure when, through exasperation he demanded, “God has forgiven you, why can’t you just forgive yourself?” Again my response startled her. I said, “You’re right, you can’t forgive yourself. You will never be able to forgive yourself! It isn’t in your heart or your will to do that. Only God can change your heart. All you can do is admit what is really inside it and surrender THAT to God. You then simply accept HIS forgiveness in its completeness and rest in that forgiveness with no condemnation of self or others.”
We talked for a long time and in the end she wept as she took out all of the feelings she had been trying to overcome for so long and surrendered them to Christ. Not only did she give Him the guilt and heartache from her abortion but she gave Him her anger toward her mother who had forced her to have it. That night she found the path to peace and healing at the foot of the cross. The kind of healing that works from the inside out!
For Karen too, surrender became a daily routine. As the Holy Spirit revealed what was in her heart she laid it at the foot of the cross. God allowed her to see just how far He had taken her when one day about six months after our conversation, she ran across a photo of her baby’s father. If this had happened before she would have gone into a long crying jag and been depressed for days. She was actually surprised when she felt no emotion. There was just a peace. She could not claim any victory of her own and therefore sidestepped spiritual pride. She had not strove so she was never in a position to fail. God had done ALL of the work in her heart. She rejoiced at God’s faithfulness in taking her worst and turning it into His best. Since then God has used her to minister to so many women who were in anguish over their abortion. Below is a poem Karen wrote after God released her from her grief and sorrow and restored her to His joy. It reflects the depth of her despair and the power of God’s grace! While this poem deals with her abortion, it is a poem that can apply to all of us who have accepted Christ’s atonement and experienced God’s grace and mercy!
The Acquittal – God’s Infinite Mercy
by Karen Sullivan Ables
In a far away place and a different time
I killed my first child, a most heinous crime.
The state didn’t come, and I didn’t stand trial.
Judge Blackmun was calm when he said with a smile,
“Killing is legal, say we the High Court.
But don’t call it murder. Just call it ‘abort.'”
The judge in my heart would not let the case rest.
I had no defense when once put to the test.
Found guilty I was by my heart’s Supreme Court.
“You murdered your baby!” They screamed in retort.
With tears on my cheeks it was too late I knew
To bring back the life of the child I had slew.
The gavel slammed down, and it rang in my head,
“You are guilty as charged, and deserve to be dead.”
“We now give you torment to pay for your sin,”
Was the sentence passed down from my own court within.
“You will never escape. You’re branded. Don’t hide.
Your just due is death. You should try suicide.”
I was beaten in prison by daily attack.
I was paying a debt, so I never fought back.
No hope of escaping, and this I knew well.
I cried out to God from my own self-made hell.
That day I met Jesus; He smiled in my face.
He said, “I forgive you. Come walk in my grace.”
“Lord, I believe you forgive and yet,
Blameless you are. Can you pay for my debt?”
“And, Lord, please don’t touch me for I am unclean.
I’m filthy with murder, a most wretched being.”
I poured out my story. He showed no surprise.
I gazed up with awe at the love in His eyes.
He said, “I paid for your crime
yes, was nailed to a tree.
There’s no condemnation if you’ll trust in Me.
I took on your blame, and your curse on My soul
So you may be free without judgement, and whole.”
I sputtered, “Dear Lord, where’s the justice in this?
I killed my first son, and you offer me bliss?
Tears blurred my vision, yet there in His face
Were eyes of compassion, blue oceans of grace.
I thought to myself, “Now the past has been buried?
I’m free of the guilt that for years I have carried?”
He said to accept. It’s a gift that is free.
This is atonement, not justice for me!
My judge was dismissed, my accusers and jury.
The truth of His love made them leave in a fury.
He smiled, “Walk with Me and come learn of My way,”
and grasping His hand I began a new day.
Chapter 5 – The Painful Truth
I’m afraid I have made surrender sound simple. And you may be saying, “Yes, I get it – I see what you mean.” But in reality it can be terribly painful. The pain comes from honestly facing your sinfulness. It hurts to admit that you are not the ideal Christian woman. That you are in fact, stuck in the same muck and mire of wretchedness that we like to pin on the other person. It hurts to dismantle our illusions of ourselves and wrestle with the truth. The surprising thing is, when you start to seriously surrender, you may be shocked to find that you DON’T WANT TO LOOK AT, MUCH LESS SURRENDER your honest feelings.
I remember sharing surrender with a young man. I knew him as a teenager when he often came to our home to escape an emotionally abusive father. We had long, honest talks. But, when he became an adult he lost that honesty. Although he was very involved in church, he was also involved in some sinful behavior that could have only led to devastating emotional, spiritual and social consequences. When faced with the truth, he refused to acknowledge it.
One day we were talking and he made the statement that he had prayed and prayed but God just would not take away his bad feelings toward his father. I shared with him that the path to forgiveness came through acknowledging his sins of bitterness and hatred and surrendering these feelings to God. In the end I invited him to pray with me, asking specifically if he was willing to surrender his hatred toward his father. He looked at me and said, “I guess I really don’t want to quit hating my dad. I don’t want to surrender it.” “If that’s the case,” I replied, “don’t blame God for not doing His job. You enjoy your bitterness and want to hate your father.” Sadly, he agreed. He has continued to live his life in bondage to his hatred. It continues to affects all of his relationships both to God and to others. Yet, when he was shown the path to freedom he chose bondage.
Karen, my “poor broken slob” friend, had a similar reaction to my message of surrender but with a totally different outcome. I first met Karen when she scribbled me a note after I had given a speech against abortion at a local church. It said, “I have had an abortion and my two year old son was born out of wedlock. Let’s talk.” Afterward Karen gushed about how she used to be wretched but now God had worked everything out in her life and she was so happy. It took only a few visits with her however, for me to realize that this was not true. She was very bitter. Her cynicism and sarcasm masked deep, unresolved wounds.
One day as we were talking I said to her “Karen, you’re really bitter. You’re bitterness hangs around you like a shroud.” She told me later that she thought to herself, “Go to hell, lady, I’m not bitter!” Her defensive response, however betrayed tremendous inner turmoil. As we continued talking however, she broke down and cried. “Yes,” she said, “I am bitter. I have a reason to be bitter.” The fact was, she was filled with hatred. The father of her unborn baby had talked her into an abortion, had driven her to the clinic and dropped her at home afterwards, never to return. He did not deserve forgiveness! I shared the path to peace through surrender but she wasn’t interested. She said, “I will NOT surrender my hatred! My hatred is like a wall around my heart, protecting it. If I quit hating I can be hurt and I will never be hurt like that again!” I think even she was startled by her own admission! But, it was honest. Not very noble – but honest. I agreed that she couldn’t surrender her hatred because she didn’t want to. The first step is a willingness to do so. I asked her if she could surrender her desire to keep her hatred – to protect her heart. She agreed that she could do this. So, she prayed, “God, I want to keep this hatred, I want to enjoy it. I want to be protected by it. This is what I give to you.” She laid this at the foot of the cross and for the first time, gave Jesus something He really wanted – that walled off part of her heart. As she surrendered her desire to hang on to her hatred, God began to soften her heart. Soon she was able to give God the hatred itself. When Satan reminded of her rejection and pain, she had a choice. She either entertained it or surrendered it. With each choice to surrender, it became a little easier. After the hatred she was able to surrender the rejection, the bitterness and then the guilt of killing her unborn child. From there God allowed her to look honestly at her upbringing and her relationships and so many other things that shaped her life. Her healing for her abortion was total and complete. And the prayer of surrender that was so begrudgingly offered in the beginning has become a way of life for her.
Chapter 5 – The New and Improved Dianne
God had schooled me in the concept of surrender long before Tiffany’s ordeal. This idea was initially grasped when I became sick and tired of striving for spirituality. I had come out of a rebellious time early in my marriage where I had proved to myself just how wretched I really was. Up until that time I had been a “good” person. Indeed, in high school my nickname was “the puritan.” I was very condescending of those who were weak and sinful. I was extremely judgmental of others and considered God to be fortunate to name me as one of His own! And then I rebelled. I did things that were unthinkable in years past. My marriage to a wonderful man was nearly sacrificed on the alter of my ego and self-centeredness. The one good thing that came out of that time in my life was the realization that I was at heart, a wretched human being. I did things that I had seen other women do and had been merciless in my judgement of them. It was a sobering realization when I acknowledged that I was no better than those I had judged!
After deciding to try to repair our marriage my husband and I started going to church. It felt good to be back on track again. But I found myself putting tremendous effort into convincing people that I was spiritual. I was always gauging my performance. I almost felt panicked if I sensed that someone saw behind the facade. I said all the right words and repeated all the Christian cliches but my heart was like the inside of the house – a shambles. I dared not acknowledge this though because I was working particularly hard at convincing myself of my spirituality. It took a lot of energy to maintain my spiritual exterior!
Part of the reason was that, while maintaining the facade I was also reconstructing my personality – sort of my gift to God! I somehow had it in my mind that if I could become a better person, I would arrive spirituality. Not surprisingly, what I wanted to become was a portrait of my alter-ego. (An alter-ego is the person you want to be. This usually embodies all of those traits that are the opposite of the ones that you have.)
I have a very strong personality. I can be loud and outgoing and very frank. These traits, when combined with insecurities and a poor self image can be detrimental to emotional well-being. For many years the results were fractured and strained relationships and wounded egos – usually mine. I hated these traits in myself so I decided to do something about them. I would become soft spoken, regal, kind, gentle, dignified, wise and command the respect of everyone – including myself! As if changing my whole personality wasn’t enough, I had somehow thrown my spiritual maturity into the equation. I figured that if I could become all of those things I would also become spiritual. When I perfected my new personality I would “arrive” spiritually.
I found the embodiment of what I wanted to become in a dear Christian sister named Martha Jo. She was what I wanted to be. So, every morning I would set out to be like Martha Jo. I never actually SAID this is what I was trying to do. But in retrospect it is very clear. I was doomed from the start. I could only carry off the “Martha Jo routine” for a few hours at best. In a moment of abandon the real me would leak out. I always ended up feeling like a failure. But, I would pick myself up, dust myself off and try again, and again, and again and again. And so it went. The worst part was when I failed I also felt I was a failure spiritually. Afraid that others would see this, I worked all the harder to make sure people perceived me as super spiritual. The most frustrating thing of all was that I was making all of these changes for God – so I could do great things for Him with my new, super spiritual, socially acceptable personality, and He wasn’t cooperating! And so it went – until I finally got so sick and tired of trying and failing that I decided to give up. That was the turning point in my life!
Chapter 5 – The Death of Martha Jo
I remember vividly, God’s introduction of surrender in my life. I was walking down the hall, thinking about how exhausting striving and failing had become. It was as if an audible voice from God asked me a terrible, frightening question: “If I want keep you exactly the way you are right now, will you let me?” It stopped me mid-stride. I couldn’t believe He would ask me such a thing. “NO!” was my emphatic reply. “You can’t really mean that. I need to change all these things about myself – for You of course.” “Dianne,” God said, “I made you with all of those traits. Who are you to recreate what I have created?” How could I make Him understand that He would be so much better off with th